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Iran Press TV

Erdogan unleashes anger at US over Gulen

Iran Press TV

Wed Aug 3, 2016 6:16AM

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he is growing impatient with the US over its refusal to extradite Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of having led a "terrorist" organization of putschists in Turkey.

"At the moment, we are running into the difficulty of not being able to receive a terrorist that we are asking to be extradited," Erdogan told Mexico's Televisa media group on Tuesday.

"In terms of fighting against terrorism, we have no time to lose, six months or one year, that's simply intolerable," he said.

A botched coup began in Turkey late on July 15 when a faction of the Turkish military declared that it was in control of the country and that the government was no more in charge.

A total of 290 people were killed in the attempted coup d'état, which was gradually suppressed. Nearly 20,000 members of the police, civil services, the judiciary, and the army have been detained or suspended in the aftermath of the coup.

The US-based Gulen, who is the Turkish president's former mentor and current archenemy, had said in a statement early after the coup was launched that he had nothing to do with it. He has repeated that stance in op-eds in American dailies. Ankara, however, has been insisting that he masterminded the putsch and that Washington must return him.

In his Tuesday interview, Erdogan used unusually harsh words for the US, implying his impatience with the American administration.

"If we request the extradition of a terrorist, then you should fulfill that," Erdogan said.

The US has said it would only extradite Gulen if Ankara provided "genuine evidence" and "not allegations" that he was responsible for the coup.

"If you start asking for documents and what not, then it's a huge obstacle in our way of fighting terrorism," the Turkish president said. "You have to be blind and deaf not to understand that he (Gulen) is behind all of this."

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag, meanwhile, said Turkish authorities had sent a new package of documents to the American authorities for Gulen's extradition.

Turkish officials have several times hinted that Turkish ties with the US are at stake over the Gulen issue.

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